Fellows Selected for 2021–22 DocX Archive Lab

Header with fellows' headshots surrounding a bar of text: "2021–22 DocX Archive Lab Fellows".

Top row (left to right): Arlene Mejorado, Allison Minto, Jen Everett, Tatiana Garnett. Bottom row (left to right): Xiaolu Wang, Beatriz Guzman Velasquez, Devon Vonnie Smith

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is pleased to announce the artists selected to participate in the virtual DocX Archive LabHow Are We Known: Reimagining, Repurposing, and Rewriting the Archive—launching September 24, 2021. The lab is a project of CDS’s DocX initiative supporting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) artists, curators, and thought leaders working across the nonfiction landscape.

“The submissions for our inaugural lab were impressive; in fact, we expanded the cohort given the number and strength of the applications,” said DocX director Stephanie Owens. Seven artists were chosen across documentary practices: Jen Everett, Tatiana Garnett, Beatriz Guzman Velasquez, Arlene Mejorado, Allison Minto, Devon Vonnie Smith, and Xiaolu Wang.

More information on the 2021–22 DocX Archive Lab Fellows.
“As we reviewed the incredible work artists are making across disciplines, we also got insight into their curiosity—the questions they’re asking of themselves and want to delve into alongside others,” said Owens. “I’m excited about the selected fellows and where their questions will lead, and about the ways that DocX and CDS will continue to build new opportunities to support artists.”

The virtual lab will be a space for fellows to invest deeply in their work and to be in communion with questions prompted by the fact that historically, archival memory of BIPOC life has been fixed within, for, and by the colonial and white gaze.

That type of group synergy is fundamental to the lab, notes Lead Artist Lab Collaborator Martine Granby. “We’ve chosen this particular cohort to be in community with one another. Their intentions around reshaping and complicating notions of archival practices are in conversation in wonderfully surprising ways,” she said. “When we first conceived of the lab it was not lost on us that the immediate need for BIPOC artists would be a space of support and collaboration. It’s a privilege to do this work.”

The fellows will explore and create with Granby, Lead Artist Facilitator Nyssa Chow, and a slate of guest artists, whose specialized perspectives will shape monthly modules. “Fellows will participate in artist talks, ideation meetings, readings, screenings, and generative exercises as they exchange questions, ideas, perspectives, and give meaningful attention to their art practice and its engagement with community,” said Chow.

Fellows will receive $3,000 for their engagement with the lab and will share some of their insights by creating an offering for the community in which they reside, or from which their work derives. Barring Covid-related restrictions, the DocX Archive Lab will culminate in an in-person weekend-long retreat held at the Center for Documentary Studies on the Duke University campus on May 13–15, 2022.

CDS’s DocX initiative supports BIPOC artists, curators, and thought leaders working across the nonfiction landscape who are charting more accountable, non-extractive documentary paths and practices. To reimagine what documentary work looks and sounds like, DocX nurtures imaginative exploration and bold interrogation of form and ways of collaborating.